Monday, October 24, 2011

This place is way cool: it's dirty, hot, & poor, but everyone's happy & wants to hear our message

Dear Family,
I got here fine and didn´t even lose any of my luggage!  I traveled with a few elders but I wasn´t sitting next to them on the plane here.  My flight ended up being switched when I got to São Paulo and I had to wait for about 8 hours.  The airports here are really crazy!  I flew to Belem alone, but when I got here I was greated by Pres. Campos and his wife as well as the assistants.  One of the assistants was American and helped me understand more of what they where saying.  I traveled for a total of 65 hours to get from Cali to my area Abaetetuba.  Ahhh!  That was not super fun. I just want to sleep!  
Yesterday was cool.   We walked about 3 miles to pick up some investigators for church (none of them came) and then to church.  All the members are really nice and there is a joke with everyone about me being Superman (Clark).  And they pronounce my name "Clarky," they have trouble with the "k."  We walked all over and didn´t teach many lessons.  Elder Silva, my companion who is great, was a bit discouraged, but I told him that this was way more success than we have in America.  Elder Silva is from São Paulo.  He is about 6´ tall maybe 6´2",  and pretty dark.  He has learned a bit of English in the last year here on his mission (he just hit the year mark), so we speak all the time in a strange mix of English and Portuguese.  He mostly tries to respond in English and I only use English to explain English to him.  It works out pretty well.  
This place is way cool:  it's dirty everywhere, and super hot, and pretty poor, but everyone here is happy and wants to hear our message.   It's super easy to get contacts and set up appointments.  I´ve been frustrated with the language because I only understand when they speak about the gospel.  I don't know alot of the words for everyday things, and the accent is slightly different than what I have heard before.  I really love talking with creiancas (children).  I can't understand everything they say, but it's still fun.  There is a little boy that loves to come and sit between me and Elder Silva during lessons for his sister.  I show him pictures from the pamphlets I carry around.  He loves it.  It's so great to be in the field and the members are really nice and helpful!  Apparently, there is a party here just about every night but it gets bigger and bigger at the end of the week.  People like to blare music all over and hang out.  They like to sit in front of their houses and talk and watch the street.  A lot of times we will contact people outside of their houses.  My area is in the middle of nowhere and really, really hot.  The city covers a large area and all the houses are smashed together.  It rains, but not as much as I thought it would.  It's mostly just humid.  And I only get mosquito bites at night, mostly when I sleep.  I woke up with blood smears on my sheets this morning. It could be much worse, but our apartment is on the third story of our building, so there aren't as many as there would be on the ground!
I love you all and I'm doing great!
Love Ben

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